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Translated from the Slovenian by Andrew Zawacki and the author
Seekers after sources and rivers,
messengers of useless desires, traveling
merchants, a spider in its web:
they keep me company this early
evening hour, in the privacy of a groggy soul
who stands and smokes and three kids
sleeping upstairs. In a dream, my years
of devotion grind by, and an image unfolds
less real than I would want. Look at it:
translucent, not the least bit shy, it radiates
like an apparition over desert sands
others have discovered; but all the same it suits me,
so big and unsatisfied, like a monologue
running without a break, it lasts
as long as the pain of harvest grass
when left to rot. Look at me as I tremble,
you cannot miss how I reach for you,
my partner I do not know. Yet you alone
can fix my sight, you're a welcome
guest in every house, you detect
the failures in my speech, you forgive
the stutter that I am.
Andrew Zawacki is the author of Videotape, Petals of Zero Petals of One, Anabranch, and By Reason of Breakings. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, the New Republic, The Nation, and elsewhere, and is an associate professor in the English Department at the University of Georgia, where he directs the doctoral Creative Writing Program.
Aleš Debeljak is a Slovenian poet, cultural critic, and translator. His most recent poetry books in English are The City and the Child and Dictionary of Silence.
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